As computer programming projects become more complex, a development team will work together to assemble the code. However, team members are rarely working at the same time in the same place. This separation can cause confusion and delays if multiple versions of the same program are active.

Git is a free version control program used by programmers throughout the world. GitLab and GitHub are Git-based software sites that expand on this role. While the two repository platforms share many similarities, a comparison shows that they differ in their approach to development and intended audiences.

GitLab vs. GitHub: Side-by-Side Comparison

GitLabGitHub
Registered users30 million40 million
Owned by:GitLab, IncMicrosoft
Year Founded20112008
Built with:Ruby, Go RubyRuby on Rails, Erlang
Free Private RepoYesNo
Primary AudienceEnterprise DevOpsGeneral DevOps

GitLab vs. GitHub: Four Must-Know Facts

  • GitLab and GitHub are both Git-based platforms that provide version control in software development.
  • GitHub is the largest repository platform in the world with more than 40 million developers of all levels.
  • GitLab has development workflow tools to support enterprise-level teams.
  • GitLab and GitHub take different approaches to private repositories. Repositories are public in GitHub by default, and developers must pay for private repos. GitLab offers free private repos.

GitLab: Complete DevOps Resource

GitLab is a version control program owned by GitLab, Inc.

GitLab premiered in 2011 as a free, open-source hosting platform. In 2014, two of its developers, Dmytro Zaporozhets and Sytse Sijbrandij, founded GitLab, Inc., and the platform began to focus more on enterprise software development features.

Although it started as a repository platform, the company has expanded its abilities to support software development and deployment. GitLab uses a remote model for its organization and seeks to aid the remote development work of companies such as Alibaba, Ticketmaster, and SpaceX.

In addition to standard Git-based tools for version control, the platform includes workflow resources for time tracking, goal setting, and development roadmaps. In recent years, Gitlab has positioned itself to be a resource that enhances programming from the first idea to final deployment.

GitHub: A Community of Programmers

GitHub is a version control program owned by Microsoft.

GitHub began its journey in 2008 as a repository platform centered on Git-based version control. At that time, the organization focused on creating space for open-source coding. The founders imagined a development forum where programmers could interact and cooperate on joint projects. Since its inception, GitHub has become the largest software repository in the world with over 28 million public repositories.

This platform offers a place where new programmers can develop their skills and seek advice from seasoned professionals. They can also examine publicly available code to learn new techniques. An open-source model also allows developers to outsource bug searching and quality control.

Microsoft purchased GitHub in 2018 after several years of working with the platform for its software development needs. While GitHub continues as an open-source community, some developers have expressed concerns about the involvement of the large tech company.

Because GitHub promotes public coding, repos are public by default. However, GitHub has been increasing its enterprise-level resources. Users can pay for a private repo for hosting team-based software development.

GitLab vs. GitHub: Which One Is Better?

GitLab and GitHub share several similarities because they are both Git-based platforms. Developers can use either software package to empower version control for their latest projects. The differences between the platforms stem from the primary intended users. Determining which hosting site is better depends on the needs of the developer.

GitHub is an all-purpose repository hosting site. People just starting their development journeys will appreciate having access to a large community of software professionals. Many professionals like to share the code for their personal projects. A group approach to software development can help everyone improve their skills. The focus on public versus private development is one of the major differences between GitHub and GitLab.

GitLab has similarities with GitHub, but it has grown into a repository hosting solution for enterprise-level clients. The platform offers resources to improve workflow and accountability in remote development groups. Team managers might turn to GitLab when looking for a resource that supports the entire development process.

GitLab vs GitHub Full Comparison FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is GitLab?

GitLab is a repository platform for Git-based cooperative programming. The site seeks to be a solution that supports the entire software development process for professional teams.

What is GitHub?

GitHub is the largest repository platform in the world. It uses a public model to encourage open-source projects. Millions of developers of all levels use the site for Git-based development.

Who owns GitLab and GitHub?

At its initial release in 2011, GitLab was a free, open-source platform. In 2014, GitLab, Inc. was formed to maintain the platform and handle enterprise licensing. Today, it is a global company headquartered in San Francisco, California.

GitHub, Inc. launched the GitHub site in 2008. In 2018, Microsoft acquired the platform.

What are GitLab and GitHub used for?

Developers can use either platform for version control and tracking in the software development process. Git-based development allows remote teams to write code without confusion caused by multiple editions of the same program.

Which is better, GitLab or GitHub?

The differences between GitLab and GitHub determine the best fit for a development team. Team leaders in an enterprise-level organization may lean towards the workflow resources of GitLab to undergird the development process. However, the age and popularity of GitHub may make it the default choice for programming teams who want to stick with the familiar.

  • Available here: https://about.gitlab.com/devops-tools/github-vs-gitlab/
  • Available here: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/difference-between-gitlab-and-github/
  • Available here: https://greedybucks.medium.com/github-or-gitlab-which-one-to-choose-6445f9b0113e
  • Available here: https://usersnap.com/blog/gitlab-github/
  • Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GitHub
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